Arlington, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has sent a letter to the governors of all 50 states, urging pharmacy patient care as a top priority in any changes to healthcare policy in 2017 and beyond. The most recent letters continue NACDS’ pro-patient, pro-pharmacy drumbeat to federal and state government decision-makers as healthcare policy seems to be approaching a major crossroads in the coming months.
As you engage with the incoming Trump Administration and prepare for the upcoming 115th Congress and potential healthcare reforms, we ask that you consider the value of community pharmacy in your efforts to provide improved quality of care at lower overall healthcare costs.
“As you engage with the incoming Trump Administration and prepare for the upcoming 115th Congress and potential healthcare reforms, we ask that you consider the value of community pharmacy in your efforts to provide improved quality of care at lower overall healthcare costs,” NACDS wrote.
“Particularly with respect to healthcare markets and state Medicaid programs, policies that reduce local pharmacy access lead to poorer health outcomes, ultimately resulting in increased future healthcare costs. We believe you should consider policy proposals that, at a minimum, ensure that beneficiary access to community pharmacies is protected. Moreover, as you consider options to improve overall healthcare delivery, we remind you that community pharmacies are fully equipped to provide better care at a lower cost and stand ready to assist. We hope that you will let the incoming Administration and Congress know of the importance of protecting pharmacy services in Medicaid and Medicare as they consider healthcare reform proposals.”
NACDS noted a National Governors Association report, titled “The Expanding Role of Pharmacists in a Transformed Health Care System,” that described opportunities for pharmacists to help improve healthcare through an expansion of their role in collaborating with physicians and other healthcare providers to meet patients’ needs.
To capitalize on these opportunities, NACDS urged enhancements to pharmacists’ scope of practice and the importance of federal legislation – the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act – that would improve access for to pharmacist-provided services in Medicare. NACDS also urged proper implementation of the pharmacy Medicaid reimbursement provisions of the Affordable Care Act – which relate to the accessibility of pharmacy patient care.
NACDS’ outreach to the governors comes in the same week that NACDS and allied pharmacy associations wrote to the Trump Administration and to the Congressional leadership regarding these and other policy priorities.